Highly contagious acute bacterial disease involving the respiratory tract. The occurrence is worldwide and causes at least 20 million cases of pertussis, 90% of which occur in developing countries with an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 fatalities each year.
Causative agent: Bordetella pertusis
Transmission: Direct contact with airborne discharges from the respiratory mucous membranes of infected persons.
Incubation period: Commonly 9-10 days, range 6-20 days
Although pertussis can occur at any age, most serious cases and fatalities are observed in early infancy and mainly in developing countries.
Sign & Symptoms
Insidious onset of irritating cough, gradually become paroxysmal, usually within 1-2 weeks and lasts for 1-2 months or longer.
Paroxysms are characterized by repeated violent coughs each series of paroxysms has many coughs without intervening inhalation and can be followed by a characteristic crowing or high-pitched inspiratory whoop.
Expulsion of clear, tenacious mucus, often followed by vomiting.
Pneumonia, encephalitis and malnutrition due to repeated vomiting.
Antibiotics: Erythromycin, Clarithromycin or Azithromycin to shorten the period of communicability.
Prevention & Precautions
All travelers should be up to date with the vaccine.
Type of vaccine: Pertussis as whole cell or acellular preparation
Number of doses: At least three, given i.m
Schedule: 2, 3 and 5 months of age according to the Malaysian National Immunization Program.
Booster: 18 months
Contraindications: Adverse reaction to a previous dose.
Adverse reactions: Mild local or systemic reaction is common
Before departure: As long as possible. Some protection after second dose
References organisation/ support
International Travel & Health, WHO 2006
Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 18th Edition by David L. Heymann, MD, Editor, 2004
National Immunization Program, Ministry of Health Malaysia.
|Last Reviewed||:||26 April 2012|
|Writer||:||Dr. Norhayati Rusli|
|Reviewer||:||Dr. Muhaini Othman|